Four UNM Health Sciences Center Faculty Awarded $50,000

The Sciences Center Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) awards for pilot data that will lead to future peer-reviewed grant submissions, according to Mark Burge., M.D., medical director for the CTSC.

"These are exactly the types of research project that the new CTSC wants to attract," said Richard Larson, M.D., UNM Health Sciences Associate Vice President for Research. "All of these projects focus on important medical conditions affecting the state and all have the potential of positively impacting the healthcare of New Mexicans in the future."

The awards will make it possible for talented UNM investigators to generate essential preliminary data that can be used for subsequent National Institutes of Health or other peer-reviewed grant submissions, said Burge.

"Additionally, the awards will allow investigators to test out innovative new ideas that may not yet be suitable for outside funding until it has been established that the idea carries some high likelihood of yielding positive results," said Burge.

Projects receiving grants were:

  • Cheryl Aine, Ph.D., Department of Radiology, "Neuroimaging Successful vs. Normal Aging."
  • Amy B. Pai, Pharm.D., College of Pharmacy , "Cytokine Activation, Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Toxicity Associated with IV Iron Use in Patients on Hemodialysis."
  • Gary Rosenberg, M.D., Department of Neurology, "Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) are Mediators of Secondary Pathophysiology in Human Traumatic Brain Injury."
  • Gerardo Villarreal, M.D., Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, "The neural correlates of anxiety in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: A real time fMRI study using neurofeedback."

"These types of projects are able to take a researcher ‘outside the box' in terms of investigating common health problems that are among that have a huge impact on patients on their families," said Larson.

"For instance, as our population ages, it is even more important to understand what ‘normal aging' is. Traumatic brain injuries are among the most expensive and debilitating conditions treated at UNM Hospital . New Mexico has been particularly hard-hit by the current epidemic of diabetic and kidney disease and complications that come from those diseases can profoundly affect the quality of patient lives. Finally, working toward improving mental health treatment in this largely rural state is a priority for the university and state government," he said.

The CTSC received nearly two dozen applications from across the Health Sciences Center , said Burge. Several investigators were interested in non-invasive imaging technologies to better characterize health and disease states. Applications dealt with topics as diverse as normal aging, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and translation of diabetes care standards to rural communities, informed consent for surgery, and the relationship between diet and breast cancer progression.

Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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